2:9 – Next door

Leaving the body of Darya in room 6, Mr. C (Kyle MacLachlan) moves down to room 7, where he evidently has somebody waiting. He knocks three times.

Chantal Hutchens (Jennifer Jason Leigh) answers the door, gun in hand, but not threatening her boss. He is wordlessly invited in.

Chantal is partner-in-crime (both literally and figuratively) to Tim Roth’s character Hutch, who won’t appear until Part 9. Theirs is clearly an open relationship, as this little scene reveals.

Much later in The Return, Chantal’s predilection for cheese puff corn snacks becomes a source of some comedy, while she and Hutch are staking out the home of Dougie Jones in Las Vegas. The set decoration for this scene provides a soft antecedent to this. Several bags of Cheeze-Its litter the room and the floor is strewn with the snacks.

“I need you to clean up in room 6. Everything.”

“Darya? That’s good news. I was getting so jealous of that bitch.” With this exchange we’re immediately led to understand the web of relationships at play here, and Mr. C’s dominance both as a leader of criminal lowlifes and as an alpha male and sexual partner. One wonders how far his harem extends.

“I need you and Hutch in a certain area in a few days,” Mr. C tells her. Given the events that occur in Part 8, it seems as though Mr. C has not only quickly formulated his plan to enter federal prison in pursuit of Ray (George Griffith), he’s assumed a timescale and taken into account Ray’s continuing duplicity.

Business talk taken care of, Mr. C sits on the bed and calls his underling over. She acquiesces, slinking across the room. Chantal stands before Mr. C in her kimono with her legs open and her arms raised – the stance makes it clear; she is presenting herself to him. The gun still in one hand adds an element of perversity to the moment. Twin Peaks continues to mingle sex and violence even during sexual scenes that are consensual. The gun adds a sense of power to Chantal that might have otherwise been lacking. After what happened in room 6, that might just be a smart move.

Still, the dynamic here is not of equals, but one already imagines that Chantal might be more of a match for Mr. C than Darya was.

Chantal’s position with back to camera masks what Mr. C is doing, but its made pretty clear when he comments, “Oh. You’re nice and wet.” This proves a suitable capper for Lynch and the scene fades out.

This scene is something of a coda to the last, and the gun in the hand extends to how the two scenes play together. Mr. C and Chantal are likely to have sex; this following the murder of Darya, who lays dead in the next room. The Return continues to mingle the two extremes. First Sam and Tracey before the mysterious Glass Box, and now these two directly following a murder. It further underscores an attitude to sexual relations that feels more recurrent for David Lynch than it does Mark Frost. Lynch’s larger body of work represents a constant battle between these polemics, not just as opposing points on a scale, but as darkly connected experiences. From the sex that leads, ultimately, to infanticide in Eraserhead, through the porn playing during a murder in Lost Highway via the erogenous annihilation of Blue Velvet… They entwine like the worlds just outside of our reach in the universe of Twin Peaks.


Next time:  Non-exist-ent

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